eBriefs June 26, 2019



Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals


Biel v. St. James School; filed June 25, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-55180


California Court of Appeal

Consumer Protection

A determination a party engaged in a trespass to chattel in a business context does not, without more, establish that the party engaged in an unlawful business practice under California’s Unfair Competition Law.

Pneuma International, Inc. v. Cho; First District, Div. One; filed June 24, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2973


Criminal Law and Procedure

The litigation privilege may apply to criminal prosecutions of extortion, but the privilege did not protect a defendant’s extortionate communications that were unrelated to a matter in litigation.

People v. Toledano; Fourth District, Div. Three; filed June 24, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2977


Real Property

Assuming that a trial court has the authority to alter the penalty assessment in an administrative decision that had become final and render a default judgment for the plaintiff, a court cannot simply substitute its view of the appropriate penalty amount for that of the hearing officer.

County of Sonoma v. Gustely; First District, Div. Two; filed May 31, 2019, publication ordered June 24, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2983



In order for assets in a special needs trust not to be counted in determining if the beneficiary is eligible for Medi-Cal, the trust must include a mandatory payback provision stating that at the death of the beneficiary the state will be reimbursed from the trust remainder for the Medi-Cal expenses incurred; the flexibility afforded to states to design their Medicaid plans does not extend to the standards for reimbursement from a special needs trust; 42 U.S.C. §1396p(d)(4)(A) does not explicitly or implicitly permit a qualification that the state Department of Health Care Services be reimbursed only for services provided to a beneficiary over the age of 55; the trust provisions of §1396p(d)(4), including the payback provisions, are separate and distinct from the estate recovery provisions of §1396p(b).

Gonzalez v. City National Bank; Second District, Div. Seven; filed June 24, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2988